Saturday, November 2, 2013

KG9DW Heyworth, IL 442.825 Ham Repeater

It's up, and it's working great! We actually got the repeater on the fire tower back in October, but I forgot to post the update here! With a handheld, you can work all around town very easily. With a mobile, the south side of Bloomington, up to Washington, down to Lincoln, and south to Dewitt are all workable. I've submitted a request to move the repeater to the grain elevator south of Heyworth. This would put it up at 185 feet and greatly expand its coverage. Because of where the equipment room is at the elevator, we'll still have 100 feet of coax loss. Anytime I'm in the truck, you can catch me on the air. I also try to have a handheld handy when I'm watching TV or piddling around the house. Give me call, and enjoy the repeater! KG9DW/R 442.825+ PL141.3

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Heyworth Repeater...coming soon....

Someone asked me for a link to my profile, and while sending that along I realized it had been a while since I'd posted. So here's an update on what's going on in Heyworth. I'm working on putting up a new 440MHz amateur radio repeater. It will be owned by the fire department, up on their tower...and can be used for fun and also for official duties. We're waiting on some antenna mounts to be created, and then it will be tower climbing time! The repeater is in pieces in my office. The controller just arrived, so some wiring and soldering will be in my near future. It's fun to dust off the old engineering skills! KG9DW/R will be up and live soon, on frequency 442.8250+ with a 141.3PL. The corn and beans are doing quite well this year. It's amazing what rain will do! Last year was awful...this year has been much more typical. We are in a bit of dry spell right rain for the past week and nothing in the forecast until almost Labor Day. So far, everything is still looking good.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Yaesu parts

I've been helping out at the fire department working on their radios. Let me tell you, Motorola is robbing everyone. The cost of parts is outrageous. And the cost of software? Yeah, it's crazy. $200 for software to program handhelds? That's on the low end.

So when I needed to order a new knob and speaker for my Yaesu HF radio, I was expecting OUCH. Nope. Cost for knob? $0.57. Cost for the speaker? $5.75. Neat. Standard shipping, should be here in a week from California.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gettin' my Ham on

I've had my amateur radio license since 1991 (or 1990, I can't remember for sure). I haven't been active since...well....that's been a long time as well. I think the last time I was active was when we lived in Indiana. It has to be at least 8 years ago. I've recently got a station put back together. I made a 2m/440 J-Pole out of aluminum, ordered a Windom wire antenna, and a bunch of coax. The first HF rig will be a FT-897 I bought off of eBay. I picked up a keyer from eBay as well. eBay is like the modern day hamfest that runs EVERY DAY. I like it a lot.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sandborn, IN farmer fights Monsanto

Pantagraph article

I've reported on this before. It's the case of a Southern Indiana farmer that wants to replant some of his soybean crop as the seed for next year's crop. Monsanto says no. Court says no. Appeals court says no. Let's see what the Supreme Court says. As soon as someone patents water, we're all screwed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Out of Space

We've run out of space at work. Physical space. No more room for people, no parking spots left. So we've moved to a work-from-home-when-you-can arrangement. For me, that works maybe once a week depending on meetings and engagements I have.

Today is one of those work-from-home days, so I'm dialed in to some meetings. Things that you just pass over when you are in the room really stand out when you are listening on the phone. There is a lot of time spent asking for consensus in our organization. We really need to get passed that.


From Facebook, paraphrased....

Matt: It's freakin' 3 degrees here. I hate Illinois.
Larry: Sorry, it's 70 today here in Texas, 80 by the weekend. Come on down!
Matt: Yeah, but Texas in the summer it's miserably humi....what a second...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our new slogan for Illinois

We've come up with a new slogan here in Illinois. It's simple, kinda catchy....

"Illinois - we're not New York!"

Why this, why now? Well, if you've been following any of the news you know that New York has gone nuts for gun control. Before, Chicago was the capital of outrageous gun control legislation. Nope, no longer. New York has that all tied up with their new 7 round magazine limit. Gun control - it's what you do instead of something.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Walmart, Bass Pro, Amazon in bed with gun control?

Lots of rumblings on the interwebs today about Walmart meeting with President Obama's blue ribbon commission on gun control. I'm hearing also that Bass Pro and Dick's UnSporting Goods will be there as well. Finally, an article is out that Amazon is helping buy back guns in Washington state.

First, Walmart is going to do what is best for Walmart. If they add crazy policy to purchase guns and ammo, I'm done with them. This is the same I'd expect from anyone that understands civil rights. We do probably $1000 in business with Walmart every month. That's huge for our family, a drop in the bucket for them. When all supporters of civil rights, and especially the second amendment boycott the Walmart beast, they'll notice. Hey PR and social media guy from Walmart reading this? Don't let it happen man....

Bass Pro and Dick's? Pretty irrelevant anyway. I like to window shop, but the most expensive item bought from Bass Pro has been a hat, and maybe a shirt once from Dick's. Amazon on the other hand is my go-to supplier for nearly everything. But just because they are providing some gift cards for a program, doesn't mean they have sold out to the gun control lobby. Heck, I hope they do get some guns off the streets. I don't like guns lying on the streets. They rust. And anyone stupid enough to turn in a gun for a gift card doesn't deserve to own a gun. I'm pretty sure they'll get some trash or bb guns. And that's fine, because bb guns will shoot your eye out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

IL AG requests full court hearing on CCW

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan has requested the full 10 member appellate court to hear the NRA and SAF challenge to Illinois's ban on the carrying of all weapons. While expected, the chances for success of an appeal are limited. This appeal also doesn't impact the timeline set forth by the original decision that gives lawmakers until June 2013 to implement a constitutional law. If the lawmakers do not, the state's law will be struck down and carry by anyone with a FOID will become legal.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Grassroots effort kills new Gun Control in Illinois

An amazing outpouring of opposition to new gun control legislation in Illinois has resulted in the House Judiciary Committee deciding to not allow any gun control measures to proceed to the full House. This is great news, and is a testament to the power of the voters. Even the lame ducks got scared. We will continue to be vigilant, as we know that the evil powers from Chicago will try this again.

Illinois #1 State in Moves - OUT?

Well, this is very interesting in light of the recent legislation and budget troubles. Let's see, gun laws proposed that would require confiscation or destruction of 80% of all firearms currently in the state; rejection of funding for DCFS (our child protective services) because the money was already promised to horse tracks; recent doubling of the income tax rate for individuals....should I go on?

From WJBC:
More people are moving out of Illinois than are moving in, at least among those who hire professional movers and are moving within the country, according to the annual United Van Lines report on domestic migration patterns based on their bookings. Of those moving into or out of Illinois last year, 59 percent were out, the second-highest ratio in the country behind New Jersey, according to spokesman Melissa Sullivan.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Why have you forsaken me Illinois?

We just returned from a great vacation in Wisconsin. This, after a quick trip to the homeland of Indiana for Christmas activities at Grandmothers'. Anyway, we're back in Illinoikstan, home of no self-protection. Carry in Wisconsin? Yep, I got a permit that allows that. Carry in Indiana? Yep, I got one for there too. But protect my most valuable assets (my wife and my children) in our "home" state? Nope, not allowed.

On vacation, I learned from the ISRA and NRA, along with blogger Sebastian of pending gun control legislation in Illinois. Yes, MORE restrictions on our second amendment rights. These new laws would eliminate all modern firearms from Illinois. Wow.

The Chicago machine is killing this state.

My state senator and representative are pro-2A and anti-guncontrol. I've mailed them letters and called them this week. I might just have to make a trip to Springfield on Sunday to have a face-to-face with them anyway.

Oh Senator Mark Kirk, Senator Dick Durbin, and Representative Rodney Davis? You better be listening to us here in non-Chicago Illinois, as we do vote and we will not accept any more gun regulation.